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Mark Measurements on Wood With the Best Scribing ToolsLast updated: 1 Jul 2022
Depending on what you want to do with it, wood can be cut and shaped into many different forms. It can simply be used as support or foundation for other materials or as a form of decoration carved and cut in the right shape, such as with cabinetry. Either way, it will take a bit of measuring and marking prior to cutting down — and that’s where a scribing tool comes in.
Scribing tools help you mark specific points on the wood for machining and cutting. They are very versatile and you can use them in many ways to suit your needs. A good woodworker will make full use of scribing tool capabilities for all sorts of projects. To find the right option for you, we reviewed the premium scribing tools of 2022 — perfect for aspiring or experienced woodworkers alike.Show contents
Buyer’s Guide for Finding a Scribing Tool
Scribing tools are pretty simple to use, but they’re one of the most useful items to have in your woodworking arsenal. This buying guide addresses what you need to know about scribing tools.
What Are Scribing Tools Used For?
When working with wood, rulers aren’t always enough. Sometimes, the best measurements are made directly from the source, and it can be redundant and prone to error if you try to copy measurements of something via a ruler. Instead of doing two measurements, you can use a tool to directly copy a shape onto a surface, and scribing tools are perfect for the job.
Scribing tools don’t have one singular purpose. Rather, they can be used in multiple ways and are versatile enough for various measurement techniques. Depending on how familiar you are with the tool, you can get entire measurements of various shapes with little effort.
Types of Scribing Tools
Compass scribing tool
Often called a compass, the compass scribing tool has two legs — one leg contains a needle to use as a center point and the other leg has the pencil which marks at the adjusted offset. Compass scribing tools are simple in concept but a little difficult to work with if you’re still a beginner. Since you need to make the tool stand throughout the entire process, it takes more precision than a flat scribing tool for accurate results.
Flat scribing tool
Flat scribing tools are mostly flat in design with the exception of having a pencil stick out on the top. These tools are easier to use than their compass counterparts, as you don’t need to hold the tool in a specific way to get an accurate marking. They are particularly useful for drawing circles and curves around a given area.
Tips for Using a Scribing Tool
Keep your hands steady
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to scribing tools. You’re in no rush when marking and making measurements, and hastening the process will only increase the chance of error. By keeping your hands steady, you ensure that the lines you draw and mark are consistent and without error.
Don’t hold down too hard
One issue that many novices have with scribing tools is that they hold down on the anchor point too hard. This is done with the idea that by holding the anchor point harder, you can get more reliable and stable lines. This is, however, not the case — by putting more force than necessary you may end up slipping and moving the tool if the force is not directly downwards. This can be disastrous depending on your project, which is why it’s best to hold the compass firmly but with control.
Scribing Tool Price Range
Virtually all scribing tools operate in the exact same way, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a price range. In fact, the price range of scribing tools is large, as you can spend quite a bit on these tools depending on your budget.
A decent scribing tool will cost you around $5 or so, with some being even cheaper than that. To get your hands on a reliable one, however, expect to spend $15, with some of the more premium tools fetching a price of around $30. That’s a huge leap from the original $5, but the material quality and design of the tool may be well worth the added premium.
Detailing Our Favorite Scribing Tool of 20221– Best OverallCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
At the top of the list is the FastCap Accuscribe Scribing Tool. As the name suggests, it’s a very accurate scribing tool that you can use to make different lines and shapes on your wood. The key feature worth noting here is the adjustable grip, which can be useful to hold most standard pencil sizes. You can also keep the scribe consistently offset, ensuring you have straight lines or curved lines as needed. With both the scribe and a pencil included with every purchase, it’s the best overall pick if you want to start scribing right out of the box.2– Best Built-in SharpenerCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
One of the main problems with scribing tools is that they rely on pencils which lose their sharpness over time. Of course, using a pencil sharpener ensures you can keep the pencil sharp as often as you’d like, but it can be a hassle to track down the sharpener when you misplace it. The Milescraft 8407 Scribing Tool has a built-in sharpener to ensure that you can have sharp pencils for scribing all the time. It’s conveniently tucked inside the tool so it doesn’t get in the way of you working, too.3– Best Flat Scribing ToolCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
This next scribing tool may look a little odd to some, but it’s just as useful as other designs. The Trend E/SCRIBE Scribing Tool is a device that’s meant to make markings and measurements, but its flattened design makes it slightly easier to work with than the traditional design. Thanks to this, the tool can also be used in narrow gaps — something that isn’t possible with the more conventional design. It can take a little while to get used to, but once you’ve got the motions down it’s a very reliable tool.4– Easiest to UseCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
Following the flat scribing tool trend is the Profiler+ The Ultimate Scribing Tool, a device that is surprisingly easy to use. With traditional scribing tools, getting used to moving the pencil around a needle can take some time, but with this particular scribing tool, it’s not nearly as hard. You simply set the offset of the tool to your desired length and rotate the tool around its axis. It’s very intuitive and fun for beginners to tinker with, which makes it especially useful if you’re not familiar with scribing tools in general. It may not be as reliable on certain surfaces due to its shape, but it’s still a solid choice overall.5– Most PremiumCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
If you want your tools to look good and work well, then the Saker Multi-function Scribing Tool is for you. It has a luxurious matte black finish with metal parts, and the design of the tool itself screams premium. The deep hole pencil used in the tool allows you to reach small and narrow gaps with ease, and the bottom of the tool also serves as a case to make storing the tool a cinch when not in use. It does cost quite a bit for a single scribing tool, but that’s to be expected for the quality of the materials and design.
People Also AskedQ: Are scribing tools necessary?
A: Most of the things you can do with a scribing tool are doable with other tools, but the design and nature of the scribing tool make these particular actions more convenient and easier to perform.Q: Should I get a scribing tool?
A: If you find yourself needing more reliable ways to make measurements of angles and lines, a scribing tool may be what you’re looking for.Q: When should I use my scribing tool?
A: Use scribing tools to make accurate measurements of borders, create consistent circular shapes, and more.